DEC 23, 2015 10:24 AM PST

Assess Your Heart Health Online

WRITTEN BY: Kara Marker
Recent data from the American Heart Association (AHA) confirmed cardiovascular disease as the leading cause of death in the United States. As Americans are continuously prompted to change their lifestyle habits in order to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease, a new study published in Circulation: Heart Failure showed how following guidelines from the AHA improves heart health.

The “Life’s Simple 7” checklist was created by the AHA to help Americans reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease. A lot of the steps sound like familiar advice (stop smoking, exercise regularly, maintain healthy diet), but by taking the online “My Life Check” assessment, people can keep track of their heart healthy as they make changes in their lifestyle.

The assessment begins with logistical information like gender, age, ethnicity, height and weight and continues with background information including smoking history, diabetes history, and an opportunity to indicate a preexisting cardiovascular condition. After a few conditions about eating and exercise habits, the assessment taker receives a heart score (a number out of ten). If the information is known, the assessment taker can also fill in blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar information to fine-tune their heart score.

In a new study from Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 3201 participants were observed in their  following of the Life’s Simple 7 steps upon which the online My Life Check assessment is based.

“For each one-point higher cardiovascular health score, there was a 23 percent lower risk of developing heart failure. Those scoring in the middle third cut their risk of heart failure by nearly 50 percent, compared with those in the bottom third. Those in the top third reduced their risk even further,” stated a report from Medical News Today.

Although people generally seem to accept that healthy eating and regular exercise is the key to a healthy heart and a longer life, cardiovascular disease still remains the most common cause of death in the United States. With the Life’s Simple 7 checklist and the My Life Check online assessment, people can associate a number with their heart health. Additionally, the study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital provides clear percentages of risk to encourage people of high risk to take action for their health.

Source: American Heart Association
 
 
About the Author
I am a scientific journalist and enthusiast, especially in the realm of biomedicine. I am passionate about conveying the truth in scientific phenomena and subsequently improving health and public awareness. Sometimes scientific research needs a translator to effectively communicate the scientific jargon present in significant findings. I plan to be that translating communicator, and I hope to decrease the spread of misrepresented scientific phenomena! Check out my science blog: ScienceKara.com.
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